The most important issue that comes to the fore when providing medical services to pediatric patients every day is their nutrition. Many people want to know how to feed a baby.

Breast milk: If you want to talk about baby nutrition very briefly, you have to initially talk about breast milk. The mother should be breastfed within one hour of birth, and the baby should be exclusively breastfed until the full six months of age. This is because the nutrients present in the mother’s milk fully meet the baby’s nutritional needs at this time.
From the age of 6 months to 12 months, half of the baby’s nutritional needs and from 12 months to 2 years of age, one-third of the baby’s nutritional needs are met from breast milk. Therefore, after the age of full six months, the baby should be given breast milk and other foods in the family, and breastfeeding should be continued till the age of full two years.

Homemade food: After full 6 months of age, the baby’s stomach can consume other non-vegetarian, sugary, and fatty foods besides milk, and mother’s milk alone cannot supply the baby’s nutrition at this time. So after the age of 6 months, you have to start home-made food. In addition to breast milk, the baby should be given a small amount of nutritious food, and the amount of food should be increased with age. The child should gradually become accustomed to one food after another without mixing different types of food. In addition to breast milk, a 6 to 8-month-old baby needs 200 kcal per day, a 9 to 11-month-old baby needs 300 kcal per day, and a 12 to 23-month-old baby needs 550 kcal of energy.

Care should be taken when starting home-made meals so that the food is nutritious and the child can easily digest it. Food ingredients should be readily available, and cleanliness should be maintained while preparing food. Be aware of the concentration of food prepared for the baby. Care should be taken that the food is not too thin. This will lead to malnutrition. Again the child will not be able to eat extra solid food and will have difficulty indigestion. A 6 to an 8-month-old child should be given half a bowl (250 ml bowl) twice a day, a 9 to the 11-month-old child should be given half a bowl 3 times a day, and a 12 to the 23-month-old child should be given one bowl 3 times a day. Besides, all children should be given a nutritious breakfast 1-2 times.

Food list: The child should be fed at least 4 types of food every day, such as- 1) Rice, 2) Pulses, 3) Vegetables 4) Fish / Meat / Eggs. Besides, rice, pulses, vegetables (such as sweet pumpkin, carrots, papaya, potatoes, etc.) should be fed to the child by making khichuri with oil and spices. When making khichuri, half the amount of pulses should be given. The baby should be fed chicken liver.

Breakfast without milk: Pie, oiled mutton, oiled chira, fruits (ripe mango, ripe papaya, banana, etc.) nuts.

Breakfast with milk: semai, payes, firni, latex, pudding, pudding, lamb.

During illness: At this time, the baby needs to be fed frequent breast milk and plenty of fluids. The baby should be given a balanced diet of choice, and the baby should be fed little by little. If you recover from the disease, you should eat more nutritious food for at least 2 weeks until you gain weight.

Reasons for distaste: Mothers often say, ‘My baby doesn’t want to eat.’ Notably, the most common reasons why children do not want to eat are forced feeding, solid foods, disliked foods, and repetition of the same foods. Forced feeding of a child is tantamount to child abuse. On the one hand, there is a possibility of weight loss in the child. On the other hand, the child may gain excess weight, which is harmful to him. Forced feeding makes the child reluctant to eat, and he gets scared or vomits when he sees the food.

To ensure the nutrition of the child, the following issues need to be looked into-
1. The child’s eating habits need to be developed with care.
2. When the baby is hungry, it should be fed.
3. Cannot be fed by force – the child’s interest in food must be created.
4. The child should be fed on a separate plate with others in the family and encouraged to eat independently.
5. The child should be accustomed to home-made food.
6. Water, juice, chocolate, etc., should not be given to the child before meals.
7. The child cannot be fed by showing television or showing cartoons. The child should be made attentive to the food.
8. The child should be given different types of food; the same food should not be eaten repeatedly to bring variety in food.
9. The child should be congratulated for the food he has finished each time.
10. The mother’s smiling face and encouragement help to nourish the baby.

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